Now We Know Why the Ordinariate Was Started!



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has defended Mother Church so frequently I have designated him Defender of the Faith, passes along news that the Vatican has started a cricket team:

Guess who’s starting a cricket team:

Some 500 years after England’s King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican is vowing to defeat the Church of England — not in the pews, but on the cricket pitch.

The Vatican has launched its own cricket club — a move aimed at forging ties with teams of other faiths.

Rome’s Capannelle Cricket Club is hosting training matches that will lead to the creation of the Vatican team, the St. Peter’s Cricket Club.

The Vatican already has its Clericus Cup soccer tournament, which pitches the Swiss Guards against seminarians. Now, its cricket team will sport the official colors of the tiny city-state, yellow and white, and players’ jackets will have the seal of the papacy, two crossed keys.

Talent won’t be a problem.

Sri Lankan Francis Jayarajah is president of Italy’s national cricket team. He says the latest Vatican initiative can count on up to 350 potential players — priests and seminarians from cricket-playing countries who live and study in Rome.

“Indians, Pakistanis, Australians, New Zealanders, during leisure time they play cricket in their small football grounds in various colleges,” Jayarajah says.

St. Peter’s CC hopes to play the Church of England (although I don’t know if the C of E has its own club) at the Yankee Stadium of cricket next September.

More immediately, Father O’Higgins says, the Vatican team has laid down its first challenge to the Church of England and has asked for a match at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, known as the home of the sport.

“That is going to be historic,” he says. “Who knows what can happen there, more than just a cricket match.”

The tentative date for a match pitting the Vatican against the Anglicans has been set for next September.

Although I don’t completely understand it, I actually enjoy the game.  There was, and may still be, a league around here that I used to watch from time to time.  Its players were mostly expats from cricket-passionate countries with the occasional oddball American thrown in.  And I’ve passed many an hour playing a couple of Indian cricket apps that I downloaded some time back.

That said, the Vatican blew the name.  They’re going to call it St. Peter’s Cricket Club?  No, no, no.  The Holy See should have gone with Vatican City Cardinals (get it?).  They could have the word “Cardinals” across the front of their uniforms written in a distinctive, cursive script (this one, say) along with two cardinals perched on either end of a cricket bat.  Perhaps something similar to this.

See what I did there?

Go here to Midwest Conservative Journal to read the comments  I am afraid that like most Americans I am woefully ignorant of the game, although I assume that Don the Kiwi might be kind enough to explain cricket to us Yanks.  Although sports leave me colder than a Congress Critter’s conscience, I do rather enjoy the idea of Vatican sports team.  With more than a billion Catholics in the world what a pool of talent to draw on!  I could imagine huge money being raised for charities of the Church through matches and hopefully the Gospel, along with good sportsmanship, being proclaimed.

More to explorer


  1. “…….although I assume that Don the Kiwi might be kind enough to explain cricket to us Yanks. ”

    Wow – how much time have you got? 😉
    Cricket – the game of gentlemen.
    Will expand on this later- am part way through my only workday. Fr. Michael Gielen, who was the parish priest of our neighboring parish, St.Thomas More at Mt. Maungaui (his father Henk Gielen is a deacon) is presently studying in Rome. He is only about 42, and is a keen sportsman – he goes bike riding, is a very good golfer, and before hid ordination, represented his local province in cricket. He’s got about a year to go, so I’m sure he would be keen to try out for the Vatican team.
    Meanwhile, I’m sure if you went to wikipedia, or googled “rules for cricket”, you would get an good explanation.
    It is a typically British game. An ordinary game has 2 innings at bat for each team – usually lasts for a day. Test matches (between countries) last for 5 days; sometimes, they end in a draw. There are also shorter versions of the game, mainly for entertainment – one dayers, which last about 7 – 8 hours – 1 innings per team, and 20/20 matches – each team bowls 20 overs( six balls per over) which last about 4 hours.
    See ya later 🙂

  2. There will be two forms of cricket. The Extraordinary Form is the traditional one, uses only white vestments and lasts three or five days. The Ordinary Form is of more recent origin, is shorter and less subtle, designed to deliver instant gratification. Some traditionalists don’t regard it as cricket in the true sense. Work is under way to produce Latin translations of the field placings. Examples are punctum fatuum, crus longum, tertius homo and crus exiguum propensum; however in OF cricket the vernacular terms silly point, long leg, third man and forward short leg may be used. “Sledging” will incur a penance of five Hail Marys, but ball tampering will incur a latae sententiae excommunication. Dissent from the umpire’s decision will be referred to the CDF.

  3. Here’s a little explanation of how to play Cricket, that you might find helpful and/or confusing:

    “You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
    Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes
    in and the next man goes in until he’s out.

    When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been
    in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.
    Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
    When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and
    when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

    There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they
    decide when the men who are in are out.
    When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have
    been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not
    out, that is the end of the game!”

    There – that’s quite simple, isn’t it. I’m sure John Nolan understands it perfectly, and as I’m only three generations removed from England (and Scotland, and Ireland, but eight generations from Saxony 😉 ) I find it quite understandable too – but it had to be an Englishman that composed it.

    And as John has pointed out, there are unusual names for field positions: a few more that come to mind are, – Silly mid on, Square leg, Long off etc.

  4. Father Zuhlsdorf seems to think God is most pleased with baseball (a rather crude slogging match derived from the children’s game of rounders) but he is quite mistaken. Cricket is almost liturgical; it gives the impression of time being suspended, like a Solemn High Mass. Hardly surprising, since we all know God is an Englishman. Was there ever a poem about baseball to equal “At Lord’s” by the Catholic Francis Thompson (1859-1907)?

    “It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
    Though my own red roses there may blow;
    It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
    Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.
    For the field is full of shades as I near a shadowy coast,
    And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
    And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
    As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,
    To and fro:-
    O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!”

    Thompson was a Lancastrian, needless to say.

  5. I love the lead sentence to this whole segment.

    I know next to nothing about cricket, and have usually seen baseball to be an American version of it, but will bow to the expertise of those who have written on its beauty.

    I would like to bring to the discussion the fact that there is a theological foundation to the teams in Rome: that fundamentally, “man” plays, just as “he” is loved and loves, prays-worships, works and is creative. Fundamental to all sports is ” play” bracketing the big bucks, etc associated with major sports. Common to all sports are “rules” similar to rubrics by which players enter into the “ritual” of the game (as John Nolan points out). A player who achieves a familiarity and facility with their particular game is frequently referred to as ” graceful”.

    I am only recently becoming really aware of this deep God-given hard-wiring in human nature

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